Christ­mas a sea­son of cel­e­bra­tions

For most peo­ple Christ­mas is about fam­ily, friends, food and fun, writes

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Backyard Banter -

It’s easy to as­sume that ev­ery­one does Christ­mas the same: dec­o­rat­ing trees, fill­ing stock­ings, putting milk and cook­ies out for Santa, wrap­ping and un­wrap­ping presents, moaning about how Snoopy’s Christ­mas is played too much (or too lit­tle), and bing­ing on way too much food. But just as ev­ery Kiwi is dif­fer­ent, so too is how they cel­e­brate Christ­mas.

‘‘Since ar­riv­ing in New Zealand in 1990, our fam­ily has adopted some Kiwi Christ­mas tra­di­tions while re­tain­ing some of our own Chi­nese Malaysian tra­di­tions,’’ says Stan Low from Auck­land. ‘‘Our cel­e­bra­tion starts with a Christ­mas Eve din­ner with fam­ily mem­bers. It’s like our Chi­nese New Year’s Eve re­u­nion din­ner, but with roast tur­key, ham and roast pota­toes and beet­root.

‘‘We also fol­low an­other Malaysian cus­tom of open­ing our home to friends and rel­a­tives on Christ­mas Day af­ter church. If the Erin Reilly.

weather is good, we fire up the bar­be­cue for chicken wings, steak, lamb chops and sausages for Christ­mas lunch. By din­ner time we are al­ready suf­fer­ing from food co­matose, so we don’t have a for­mal Christ­mas Day din­ner.’’

In the Ton­gan cul­ture, fam­ily, food and church are es­sen­tial com­po­nents of Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tions.

‘‘At Christ­mas time there must be more food than is eaten!’’ says Kelvery Lon­gopoa, whose par­ents are orig­i­nally from Tonga. ‘‘Usu­ally the men will cook a pig on the spit, or an umu or hangi while the women pre­pare the food in­side. On Christ­mas Day, Mum en­joys mak­ing ex­tra plates of food to give to our neigh­bours or rel­a­tives.

‘‘I re­mem­ber as a kid at­tend­ing mid­night mass,’’ she con­tin­ues. ‘‘It would start at 10pm on Christ­mas Eve and fin­ish at 12am. Af­ter church the whole con­gre­ga­tion would meet out­side and wish ev­ery­one a Merry Christ­mas. These days Mum and Dad at­tend a 6pm ser­vice, and on Christ­mas Day we al­ways give thanks to the Lord for his bless­ings.’’

For Lou Vi­tali and her fam­ily, this time of year re­volves around Christ­mas magic.

‘‘I love the magic of Christ­mas and the fo­cus it has on joy, happiness and do­ing life to­gether as a fam­ily,’’ says the Auck­land mum-of-three. ‘‘On De­cem­ber 1st, Snowflake, our ‘Elf on the Shelf’ comes out of hid­ing and de­liv­ers the kids’ Christ­mas py­ja­mas. On Christ­mas Eve we sing car­ols at church, then we come home and put out beer and cho­co­late for Santa ... and of course car­rots for Ru­dolph! Once the kids go to bed, we dust off the gum­boots, grab some flour and leave some snowy foot prints by the tree.’’

For oth­ers, Christ­mas is sim­ply about spend­ing the day with their favourite peo­ple.

‘‘We just have a big bar­be­cue with friends and fam­ily, and drink and chat and en­joy each other,’’ says Bai­ley Palmer from Wellington. ‘‘That’s what Christ­mas is about for us.’’

Keen to spread some Christ­mas cheer in your neigh­bour­hood this year? Why not or­gan­ise a street party or in­vite your neigh­bours over for Christ­mas din­ner or Box­ing Day lunch? Just ask around on Neigh­bourly.

Christ­mas can be about shar­ing a meal and spend­ing time with your favourite peo­ple.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.